How do you know that someone is a vegan? They’ll tell you—and they may or may not laugh about it
By C J Sommerfeld, Contributor
A few years back while visiting a cattle ranch on the Central Coast of California, one of the cattle farmers picked up my tub of vegan protein powder, scoffed, and asked, “You make burgers outta this stuff?” He was very unimpressed.
Although I am sure he was aware that protein powder goes in a shaker cup—or in the batter for yummy protein pancakes—I could not help but laugh with him. Although he was making fun of me, his joke was funny, so I sucked up my plant-based pride and honoured his humour.
There are many hilarious stereotypes about vegans: They smother hummus on everything, they have a vegetable to describe every emotion, and they have chickens running around their backyards (which is totally legal in Vancouver by the way). Vegans are often viewed as yogi-extremist liberal folks who never shut up about their veganism.
These are socially constructed assumptions about vegans, and sure, there is nothing wrong with these views—they just do not apply to every vegan! It is these characteristics of a select few which have provided rich subject matter for banter. However, regardless of if these stigmas have revealed themselves to be truthful or not, why not laugh when someone uses them as wisecrack ammunition?
Instead of taking offense and trying to squash vegan stereotypes (no pun intended), just embrace it and laugh! Better yet, throw some organic, locally sourced, non-GMO jokes in there yourself, because who cares what people think about your food beliefs? If you have reasons to eat a certain way, then why feel the need to argue against the stereotypes?
So, when people laugh at our nutritional yeast, mock our chickpeas, and joke about where we get our protein from, laugh with them! Aspects of veganism can be absurd and hilarious, and the best humour is always rooted in the truth. Not to mention that nothing is more annoying than those self-righteous vegans who cannot laugh at themselves (except maybe for vegans who never shut up about their veganism).
Why did the organic tofu cross the road? To show that he wasn’t chicken!